THE PBA Board of Governors have officially approved the sale of the Sta. Lucia Realty franchise to Meralco during its regular meeting Wednesday, paving the way for the return of the country's biggest electric company to the basketball scene.
Now that the franchise transfer is official, the league's newest ball club will start forming the team, according to Ramon Segismundo, senior vice president and head of Human Resources and Corporate Services who will also represent Meralco in the PBA board.
Betty C. Sy-Yap, SVP and finance officer, will be the alternate governor.
Segimundo also announced that B-Meg derby Ace's Ryan Gregorio has accepted their proposal to coach the team.
The Meralco executive refused to divulge the terms of the contract other than saying they offered Gregorio a "proposition that made him move."
With the coach already in place, forming the team will now be the subject of an organizational meeting that is expected to take place next week upon Gregorio's return.
Gregorio is scheduled to leave with his family Thursday for a short vacation in Guam and will return Monday.
"We will be building on our acquired franchise to develop a competitive team over the long-term. Meralco's legacy has always been intertwined with Philippine basketball. It is an honor and privilege for us to be part of PBA's future," said Segismundo, an executive of a multi-national company in Singapore before joining Meralco last January.
Meralco became a household name in the 1960s until the mid 70s while playing in the defunct MICAA.
Among its players at the time were former senator and basketball icon Robert Jaworski, Alberto "Big Boy" Reynoso and Jimmy Mariano.